The Frontal Cortex

A Public Service Announcement

Please forgive this post, but as the proud parent of a cockatiel with an inverted beak (a common birth defect), it has long upset me that there is very little information available on the web about birds with this “problem”. What little information Google provides generally consists of advice telling people to avoid purchasing cockatiels with beak defects. The advice is all wrong. Our cockatiel – his name is Leo – is a perfectly healthy three year old. Although the pet store was going to sacrifice him (he was deemed unsellable), I actually think his underbite is advantageous. For one thing, he rarely bites people, and when he does get nippy (during mating season, for example) his bites are charmingly painless. He has trouble eating some seeds and pellets, but we supplement his diet with lots of whole wheat pasta and fruits. So, for all those strangers contemplating birds with inverted beaks, don’t delay. Think of it as a selective mutation, which makes a wonderful bird an even better pet.
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